The two games of Sunday’s doubleheader represented quite the contrast to one another for the Valparaiso offense. The Crusaders banged out 18 hits on their way to a 13-3 win over Oakland in Game 1, but didn’t save any firepower for Game 2, when they scratched out just one hit and fell 7-0. The games were originally scheduled to take place in Rochester, Mich., but were moved to Emory G. Bauer Field.
How It Happened – Game 1
- Both starting pitchers were strong in the early going, as neither Valpo’s Grant Inman (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) nor Oakland’s Jake Lee permitted a run in the first three innings.
- The scoreless tie was snapped in the top of the fourth, when Chase Dawson grounded a run-scoring double through the left side, then came in to score on an RBI single by James Stea (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Los Alamitos [Golden West]).
- The Crusaders made the Grizzlies pay for a defensive miscue in the fifth as they plated a pair of unearned runs. Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) was credited with an RBI on a ground ball to short, then Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) picked up a run-scoring base hit to left.
- The Grizzlies got two back in the sixth as Mike McGee had an RBI single and Ryan Fitzgerald clubbed a run-scoring double to disrupt Inman’s shutout and slice the Valpo lead in half.
- The Crusaders broke it open when they poured on five insurance runs in the seventh inning. Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel) had a single to drive in two, then Stea unloaded a three-run homer. Four of the five runs in the inning were unearned.
- Garbella corralled his second RBI of the contest in the eighth to make it 10-2.
- McGee lifted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth, but then the Crusaders tacked on three more in the top of the ninth. Stea singled to score a run and Jake Hanson singled to drive in a pair.
How It Happened – Game 2
- Not much went right for the Crusaders in the nightcap. Oakland starter Conor Bowers took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning, but Garbella broke it up with a ground ball single through the left side of the infield. The Garbella knock stood as Valpo’s only hit of the game.
- The Crusaders committed a season-high five errors, making five of Oakland’s seven runs unearned.
- The lone bright spot was the bullpen, as Chet Joslyn (Battle Creek, Mich. / Lakeview) and Garrett Hill (San Marino, Calif. / San Marino) combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Inside the Games
- Inman went 5 1/3 innings in Game 1 to pick up the win and boost his record to 4-5. He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out three and walking three.
- When Inman departed, Hayden Kissee (Indianapolis / Greenfield Central [Kaskaskia College]) took over and worked the remainder of the game. He allowed one run on three hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings to pick up his first career save.
- Lee was saddled with the loss and plummeted to 1-6. He allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and three walks in four frames.
- All nine players in the Game 1 starting lineup had at least one hit. Seven Crusaders had multi-hit games.
- Stea led the way with a 3-for-5 performance while racking up a career-high five RBIs. He became the third Crusader to enjoy a five RBI game this season, joining Garbella and Palace.
- The 1 hour, 56 minute second game was the quickest nine-inning Valpo game since May 10, 2013, a 3-0 loss at UIC that lasted 1:55.
- Bowers dazzled to the tune of one hit, three walks and eight strikeouts over eight scoreless innings. He picked up the win and moved to 1-3.
- Valpo starter Ellis Foreman was hit with the loss, allowing seven runs (two earned) on nine hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings to fall to 2-2.
The Crusaders will host Big Ten foe Purdue on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Emory G. Bauer Field. The game will be broadcast on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Links to live audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.